Welcome to our backyard! This is a project that has been years in the making. I am so excited to share it with you today! I love seeing REAL landscaping projects, ones that the hubs and I could DIY and not break the bank. Designer yards are always gorgeous but not realistic for our budget or skills. If you’re looking for some simple DIY backyard projects and ideas then this post is for you.
Lets get right to it! I’ll try to describe each photo and give you details on products and resources as we go. If you have any questions please leave them in the comments. We redid our deck a few years ago so if you would like to see where we started, check out our Complete Deck Makeover first.
I am kind of looping you around the yard in our photos. This is the left side of the backyard as you enter through our gate you are greeted by a new set of stairs and Max, our cocker spaniel. To your right is our new deck which we skirted with plastic privacy lattice.
At the top of the stairs we have our preexisting shed, this is where Darcy built a new retaining wall. We used to have a tree coming out of that large cedar shrub. It was not getting enough nutrients and looked quite sickly so we cut it down to provide a clear line of sight to the pool.
As we walk up the stairs we arrive at our new above ground pool. We ordered the pool from Pool Supplies Canada and had a fantastic local company, Aqua Friends, set it up and install it for us. Because our backyard is tiered we had room for a 12′ x 24′ oval pool. It’s the perfect size for family fun and fits exactly in our space.
If we stand beside the shed and look down, there is a view of the new deck, pathways and retaining wall. The retaining wall beside the deck used to be a huge cedar bush. We ripped it out, along with a ton of large landscaping rocks, to make the deck wider and more open feeling.
We used brown treated lumber from a local hardware supply store for all of our decking, supports and railings. The treated lumber should weather much better than anything that we would have had to stain or paint. I love the privacy wall on the far side of the deck as well. It makes the space more cozy and intimate. We have been entertaining in this space ALL summer long, hosting at least one or two bar-b-cues a week. We’ve also put up a misting line (a hose that sprays a fine mist) around the deck since this photo which helps to keep everyone cool.
This is the view from our sliding glass door to the pool above (I have since painted the slide silver – LOVE it!). You can find the old view in our Complete Deck Makeover post and see what a difference taking down our railings and enlarging the deck has made.
We hauled about eight yards of pea gravel into the backyard to create pathways throughout the space. We still need to add a few more yards to top up the gravel in a few places. The pool was not in our original plan this spring but after we decided to DIY the stairs we realized that we had enough money left in the budget for a pool. It has been a total blessing to have this as our friends and family have been in the pool every day of this hot, hot, summer.
Our original shed, which used to house some random camping gear, has been converted into pool central. Both our sand filter and salt water converter are housed safely inside. Pool toys are kept in the bin behind the shed or hung from hooks on the side.
The GIANT rock in this photo is one that came out of the soil and needed to be dug out to create these stairs. We leave it there as a reminder of how much hard work and labour went into creating our new outdoor space. Prior to this picture everything that is covered in pea gravel was dirt and mud. With kids and pets it was messy! We still have a few projects to complete. New fencing will need to be installed soon and Darcy wants to create a deck on the far side of the pool next year. We will keep you updated! Thanks so much for visiting! I wish we could have you all over for a bar-b-cue. Lots of love,